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Toledo: Bands compete for recording pact


Members of the band Resonant Soul are, from left, Josh Bock, Dan Fowler, Anthony Beck, Rick Ackler, and John Fowler.

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Members of Goiter Jelly are hoping to keep up their winning streak on Feb. 26, but to pull that off, the band will have to outplay Stereomod, Resonant Soul, Amanna 18, and RHSC.

The five local bands have jammed their way into the final round of The Regional Superstar Competition at Club Bijou, 209 North Superior St.

The band that comes out on top will win a recording contract valued at $25,000 through Seven Records, a record label and national distribution company based out of San Antonio.

Alli Aras, entertainment director and manager for Club Bijou, said he submitted 108 demos, and the label chose the 27 bands that would battle it out in the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Mr. Aras said the preliminary rounds featured bands of the same genre, including hard rock and metal, alternative melodic, and punk. Each band was judged on song content, performance, stage presence, choreography, and audience attendance and participation.

Five of the highest-scoring bands moved on to the finals, including Goiter Jelly, who chalked up the most points in the semi-finals with a score of 86 out a possible 90 points.

Vocalist Brannon Criner, 28, said the band based out of Bowling Green won the only two competitions they entered, and said he hopes their original, versatile sound will win over the judges and the crowd at Club Bijou.

"We try to hit everyone's personality and their character in the music to try to get them involved in what's going on," he said. "We're trying to make it fun."

The band members, who include Bowling Green residents Trey Bortel, 30; Al Foreman, 28; and Karl Jacovitch, 31, of Bryan, have been in the band together for three years.

Goiter Jelly doesn't have a definition, but Mr. Criner said it is "just one of those names that sounded good and people would know it when they see it."

Though they have only been in a band for a little less than a year, the four members of the alternative melodic band Stereomod scored of 81 out of 90 points in the semi-final round.

Drummer Anthony Tscherne, 21, said the band used four months to write their material and have been performing for about six months.

"We pride ourselves on really good songs," he said. "Basically we want to have a song that people are singing the next day."

Though they haven't been performing as long as the other bands, Mr. Tscherne said he thinks Stereomod's chances of winning are as good as any.

"We're just happy to be where we are, and if it goes to the next step, that would be great," he said.

By scoring 76 out of a possible 90 points, the five guys of Resonant Soul will join Stereomod as the other alternative melodic band in the finals.

Vocalist Anthony Beck, 22, of Perrysburg said the band has been together since August, 2003, and are hoping to break their "second-place curse."

"We've put a lot of work into this band, but we've never finished in first," he said, adding that Resonant Soul is unique because none of the members have the same favorite band, giving them a collective blended sound.

Representing the punk bands in the finals are Amanna 18 and RHSC, who scored 73 and 70 points, respectively, out of a possible 90 points in the semi-final round.

The four Toledoans representing Amanna 18 have been playing together for about three years, and won the Owens Community College Battle of the Bands last year, said guitarist and vocalist Louie Torda, 20.

He said his band plans to play their best set at the finals to try to win it. "Our chances are spectacular," he said. "We've got a few surprises. It's going to be sweet."

But they'll have to play a better set than the members of RHSC - the band name with "four letters that don't stand for anything," said bass guitarist Jared VanAusdale, 25, of Bowling Green.

He said members of RHSC has been together since 2002, and are veterans when it comes to competing, but haven't yet come out on top.

"We always come so close," Mr. VanAusdale said. "And there are so many good bands in the finals [at Club Bijou]. Anybody has a shot of winning it. It's so up in the air."

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